In this paper we review the empirical legacy that developed out of the theoretical and methodological agendas of class analysis and comparative methods of the 1970s and 1980s. Our review is restricted to studies that examine the variants in the class structures of the developed capitalist democracies. The paper is organized into four main sections. In part one, we examine variations in the organization of capital; part two takes up the still little-studied resurgence of the petite bourgeoisie and small capital; in part three, we review studies that have examined national variations in the size and composition of the new middle class; and part four reviews the postindustrial and gendered nature of the working class. Our conclusion highlights important labor market developments of the 1980s that have largely been missed by conventional class models and commentosn their significance for the future of empirical research in class analysis.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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